College students urged to vote absentee for recall election

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- With the recall election less than a two weeks away, both sides are working to make sure everyone knows they can choose to vote early through absentee.

For college students leaving for the summer, it may be the only way to get their voices heard.

It's probably one of the few things Democrats and Republicans agree on: getting the youth to cast their vote in the upcoming recall election. The push now is making sure students know the rules.

UW-L students Ian Adcock and Tom Truhues have just one thing left to do before they can enjoy their summer vacation.

"Summertime, scheduling can be difficult for a lot of people, so when you vote absentee, you make sure your voice is heard," said Adcock.

"It's just really important to vote, and it's really important to make sure your voice is heard, and early voting is a way to do that," said Truhues.


But with summer just around the corner, Adcock and Truhues know not all of their eligible classmates may be casting their votes in the upcoming recall election.

"Lots of people go home out-of-state and they don't participate," said Adcock.

Getting the youth to vote is one of Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind's priorities.

"The youth of this state have probably a greater stake in what happens to the future of our state," said Kind.

But Kind said knowing all of the requirements to vote can be a little confusing for students.

"For many of them, it's a new process," said Kind. "They may be just turning a voting age right now. They've never done this before, so what better time to learn than right now and participate in this recall."

So what are the absentee voting rules for youth? It all depends on where you are registered to vote.

Eligible students must have lived in the district they want to vote in for at least 28 days in order to register to vote. If students are moving home for the summer but are registered to vote in La Crosse, they can vote in -person absentee now. Otherwise, they'll have to make the trip back to the city on Election Day or request an absentee ballot by mail.

If a student is not registered in La Crosse, they can register at the polls in their home district.

"We realize that across-the-board voting in bipartisan," said Julian Bradley, La Crosse County Republican chair.

Bradley said as long as all eligible students stick to these rules and vote either absentee or on Election Day, that's all that matters.

"Every single vote will count in this election," said Bradley. "We have no idea of what the turnout is going to look like. We're in uncharted waters here, so every single vote counts, and we want to encourage everybody to get out and let their voice be heard."

If you are a recent college graduate, the same 28 days residency rule applies. May 31 is the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail. In-person absentee voting ends June 1.

You can vote in-person at your municipal clerk's office. In La Crosse that would be City Hall.

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